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On Thursday, December 2, Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union Manuel Campos Sa?nchez-Bordona issued an opinion regarding the rule of law conditionality mechanism in the context of member states’ access to EU funds. Specifically, he rejected the claims of Poland and Hungary to dismiss the regulation as legally unsubstantiated.

The CJEU Advocate General has found that introducing a rule of law conditionality mechanism is fully compatible with the powers vested in EU institutions. "Compliance with the principles of the rule of law may be vitally important for the sound operation of public finances and the proper implementation of the Union budget" – he stated, adding that the mechanism "does not apply to all breaches of the rule of law, but only those that are directly linked to the implementation of the Union budget". In that context, the advocate general emphasized that „the Regulation is not intended to protect the rule of law by means of a sanction mechanism similar to Article 7 TEU, but rather to establish a financial conditionality instrument to safeguard that value of the European Union".

The Advocate General’s opinion is not equal to a binding decision handed down by the Court of Justice of the European Union. A final verdict in this case is expected to be announced at the beginning of next year.


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